This year the Raiders are considering using running back Darren McFadden as the point man in the read option. McFadden filled the role at times at the University of Arkansas, and he ran some Wildcat early in his career with Oakland. The possibility of taking snaps directly from center excites him.
“I always tell people I really was supposed to be a quarterback, I just ended up being a running back,” McFadden said. “It’s always fun to me, being able to get back there behind center. It takes me back to my old roots. The first position I ever played was quarterback. It was my first love.”
Coordinator Greg Olson is intrigued by the idea of having McFadden and newcomer Maurice Jones-Drew in the backfield together. The two are competing for the starting job in the base offense, but Olson believes having the pair on the field together could create matchup problems for defenses. The scheme is also a way to keep opponents off balance.
“With the influx of the college game, Terrelle Pryor was a good fit for the read-option scheme and we had some success with it,” he said. “Now we’re back to a more traditional-type passer (in newcomer Matt Schaub), so we’ll get back to a more traditional system. But there were some things that we really liked about the read-option scheme, and we’ll still be capable of doing some of them because of Darren’s background in college. The thought of having him and Maurice back there together is kind of intriguing to us. So we’ll look to keep some of those elements in the offense.”